Trend: Are You in Favor of the Death Penalty for a Person Convicted of Murder?

Trend: Are You in Favor of the Death Penalty for a Person Convicted of Murder?

Trend: Why do you favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? [Open-ended]

Why do you oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder? [Open-ended]

Trend: If you could choose between the following two approaches, which do you think is the better penalty for murder -- [ROTATED: the death penalty (or) life imprisonment, with absolutely no possibility of parole]?

Trend: In your opinion, is the death penalty imposed -- [ROTATED: too often, about the right amount, or not often enough]?

Generally speaking, do you believe the death penalty is applied fairly or unfairly in this country today?

Trend: Next, I'm going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong. How about the death penalty?

What form of punishment do you consider to be the most humane - the electric chair, the gas chamber, lethal injection, firing squad, or hanging?

Do you feel that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to the commitment of murder, that it lowers the murder rate, or not?

Yes, does

No, does not

No opinion

%

%

%

2011 Oct 6-9

32

64

4

2006 May 8-11

34

64

2

2004 May 2-4

35

62

3

1991 Jun 13-16

51

41

8

1986 Jan 10-13

61

32

7

1985 Jan 11-14

62

31

7

How often do you think that a person has been executed under the death penalty who was, in fact, innocent of the crime he or she was charged with -- do you think this has happened in the past five years, or not?

Yes, in past
five years

No, not

No
opinion

%

%

%

2009 Oct 1-4

59

31

10

2006 May 8-11

63

27

10

2005 May 2-5

59

33

8

2003 May 5-7

73

22

5

Just your best guess, about what percent of people who are executed under the death penalty are really innocent of the crime they were charged with?

[BASED ON ADULTS WHO SAY SOMEONE HAS BEEN EXECUTED UNDER THE DEATH PENALTY IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS WHO WAS INNOCENT OF THE CRIME]

2005 May 2-5

2003 May 5-7

%

%

None

--

*

1-5%

57

55

6-10%

14

13

11-20%

10

8

21-50%

9

15

More than 50%

2

2

No opinion

8

7

Mean

10.7%

11.7%

Median

5%

5%

* Less than 0.5%

Which comes closer to your view -- [ROTATED: states should be allowed to execute prisoners sentenced to the death penalty by means of lethal injection, (or) lethal injection of death row prisoners represents cruel and unusual punishment that should not be permitted]?

Allowed by
means
of lethal
injection

Not permit
lethal injection

No
opinion

2004 Mar 26-28

75%

21

4

Do you favor or oppose the death penalty for -- [RANDOM ORDER]? How about for -- [INSERT NEXT ITEM]?

Women

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2002 May 6-9

68%

29

3

The mentally ill

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2002 May 6-9

19%

75

6

The mentally retarded

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2002 May 6-9

13%

82

5

Juveniles

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2002 May 6-9

26%

69

5

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/1606/death-penalty.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030